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R&D Associate Staff Member - Detector Scientist

Date: Jun 4, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 5969 


The Detector Group within the Neutron Technologies Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is looking for an R&D Associate Staff Member Detector Scientist.  The mission of this group is to develop new neutron detector technologies, deploy them at our scattering instruments, and to support the day-to-day operation of our instruments with state-of-the-art neutron detection technologies. 

The development work of the group is currently focusing on two detector technologies: scintillator detectors and MCP detectors.  We are researching new scintillator and solid state materials that combine high efficiency for neutron capture with high brightness and/or mobility for resulting conversion particles.  Novel synthesis or manufacture techniques, such as 3D printing that might lead to lower cost, improved performance or new neutron sensitive device architectures are of particular interest.  We are also developing our own backend electronics solutions, to integrate the detectors into the data acquisition systems at the instruments.  This is one of the main areas where this position is expected to contribute.

This position will support much needed R&D work in neutron detectors at ORNL.  In the long term, ORNL is planning to significantly expand the suites of scattering instruments at both HFIR and SNS, and new technical solutions for our detectors will be needed in terms of rate capability, efficiency for thermal neutrons, noise rejection, gamma sensitivity, spatial resolution, timing resolution, area, read-out speed, etc.  In this role you will join a diverse organization of scientists, engineers and technicians who work on detectors and their integration in the data acquisition systems of our scattering instruments.


Major Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Perform R&D related to new neutron detection systems meeting SNS and HFIR instruments requirements.
  • Present and report research results and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner.
  • Independently plan, design and execute detector development and testing in laboratory setting, thinking beyond the immediate detector support function of the group.
  • Participate in the initiation of new research directions and development of research proposals.
  • Performance research to understand scintillators structure-properties and their integration in neutron detectors.
  • Develop partnerships with key leaders in the neutron science community from industry, academia, and government to further enhance the capabilities of neutron detection at SNS.
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements.
  • Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics.
  • As a member of the ORNL scientific community, you will be expected to commit to ORNL's Research Code of Conduct.  Our full code of conduct, and a statement by the Lab Director's office can be found here:


Basic Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in Physics, Electrical Engineering or a closely related field with focus on radiation detection physics.


Preferred Qualifications:


  • At least 2 years of post-doctoral experience in detector development or characterization of scintillator materials.
  • Excellent record of productive and creative research as demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate to an international, scientific audience.
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory.
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs.



About Neutron Sciences Directorate:


The Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) operates the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), the United States’ highest flux reactor-based neutron source, and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), the world’s most intense pulsed accelerator-based neutron source.  Together these facilities operate 30 instruments for neutron scattering research, each year carrying out in excess of 1,000 experiments in the physical, chemical, materials, biological and medical sciences for more than 3,000 visiting scientists.  HFIR also provides unique facilities for isotope production and neutron irradiation.  To learn more about Neutron Sciences at ORNL go to


Benefits at ORNL:


UT-Battelle offers a quality benefits package, including a matching 401(k), contributory pension plan, paid vacation, and medical/dental plan options.  Onsite amenities include a credit union, medical clinic, cafeteria, coffee stands, and fitness facilities.




Moving can be overwhelming and expensive.  UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process.  Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions.  If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.


For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at






This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

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ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

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